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The fintech world is at last waking up to the biggest problem facing real-world businesses: how to perform KYC on customers you will never physically meet and who live lives which do not intersect with your own except for one specific purpose - the provision of a service. Of course, being tech-driven, fintechs are looking for a tech solution and they've even got a name for it - Digital Identities. The world is full of "White Papers" but there are no practical applications nearing real-world testing, so far as we can ascertain. It appears that, as in so many cases, people are starting with the tech and trying to make the problem fit it, rather than looking at the problem and trying to build tech around reality, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill.

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**This article has been updated for spelling, grammar and one or two additions or amendments performed to improve clarity.** 11 November 2019.

If you were going to launch a pump and dump spam-scam masquerading as legitimate share picks from a regulated stockbroker, you'd want to make sure your mail was at least opened, wouldn't you? So you'd layer one trigger word after another until you found the target's sweet spot and, all the while, you would have to avoid those pesky spam-filters. So you'd use current buzzwords so that the victim dare not ban them for fear of missing out. Want to see how it's done? PS: watch out for suspicious action on the US shares mentioned.

BIScom Subsection: 

This ultra-simplified explanation clarifies the absolute basics of a subject that has become shrouded in myth and mystery.

The blockchain, crypto-currencies (or cryptocurrencies) like bitcoin, distributed ledgers and smart contracts are, actually, stuff you already know..

Last year it was FinTech. 2018 was scheduled to be the year of RegTech but the crazy inflation in the value of crypto-currencies at the end of 2017 hijacked that and this year became the year where no sentence was complete without the word "blockchain" somewhere in it, or so it seemed. But the love affair is already turning sour as reality sets in and the buzzword junkies are at last being shown for what they are: opportunists who will be onto the next big thing as soon as someone tells them what it is.

CoNet Section: 

Impact on the conventional sector

"No head-scratching and audible sighs of relief as knickers become untwisted. "

Interacting with a blockchain

How Ethereum demonstrated the benefits of blockchain-based currency for financial crime reduction.

In this exclusive multi-part analysis, World Money Laundering Report looks at blockchains from a layman's perspective, demystifies the topic using plain language and often humour and explains some of the risks that it creates for regulators, investigators, providers of financial services and the public at large.

Note: there is nothing technical here. It's intended to be simple, bordering on the simplistic from a techy standpoint, for non technical people.

Every so often, Bitcoin hits the news because a criminal gang is using it for some nefarious purpose. We examined BitCoin in a special issue (see here) in 2013. It was not our first look at virtual currencies: that was way back in the mid 1990s, before we even launched World Money Laundering Report, and we've kept a watching brief ever since. Here's the current scary stuff.

We would love to know more about this: an individual apparently in France, wants to raise GBP60,000 to hire two developers to produce software that he hopes he will be able to sell to banks .